Reflecting on #GirlsinSTEM

My mother was born during Christmas of 1947; her parents thought it would be cute to name her ‘Noelle’. When her baby sister was born some 15 years later on the very same day, they continued with the Christmas theme and named her ‘Carol’. If there’d been another, who knows – she may have been…

Challenges of Teaching GCSE Computer Science

Since I joined Exa in October 2015, I believe I’ve supported as many teachers as in the previous 5 years with the development of GCSE Computer Science. Through my work with exa.foundation I’ve been able to visit teachers in their schools as well as leading CPD events in regions around the country. One of the…

Proposal for a GCSE Computing MOOC

About one third of my work since joining Exa Education has been supporting the teaching of Computing in UK schools. I’m constantly looking for new solutions to help me scale-up my support to other teachers and I’d like to share a proposal for a MOOC to support the teaching of GCSE Computing and enlist a…

30+ Revision Resources & Strategies

This time of the year, as teachers complete marking their coursework, attention in lessons focuses on revision, exam technique and exam preparation. In the online communities, groups and forums I belong to, teachers have been discussing the different ways they approach revision with their classes. In this post, I’ll start by sharing three strategies that…

5 Questions To Answer When Planning A STEM Trip

If you’re seeking to engage and develop the interest of children into Computing and/or STEM subjects you may have considered organising a trip. Here are 5 questions you should consider as part of your planning, some suggestions for alternatives to school visits as well as recommendations for places to visit.  1. Why even bother? The…

An Ace In The Hole

If you’re a subscriber to this blog you’ll know that after teaching in mainstream education for 21 years I recently joined Exa Education, a business providing internet connections to thousands of schools across the UK. Part of my role is to promote safe, secure and appropriate use of technology. As I gaze down into the…

The best way to teach text-based programming?

If you had been challenged to develop a rock, paper, scissors game using a text-based programming language in less than 10 minutes starting from a blank screen – how far would you succeed? Next question – what would be the best way to teach the necessary concepts to a class of 15 year olds? If…

Being in someone else’s shoes

On Tuesday this week, I made an unscheduled visit to a shoe museum in Northampton. Speaking as someone who prefers being unshod, shoes are low down my list of interests – you could say they’re at the foot. All the same, I was curious to see what stories a shoe museum might reveal. Until my…

#GirlsinSTEM Minecraft Hack Jam

Durham Arts Council have commissioned a group of award winning architects to design a £4m public monument in celebration of local astronauts Holly and Lola who christened the ninth planet in our Solar System ‘Zues’ after the Greek god of sky and thunder when they visited the planet recently. Both astronauts are former pupils of…

Post-Script: Girls, Coding & Raspberry Pi

I’ve got super excited about something this evening, and I want to shout about it. Once upon a time, in 2011, I decided I really wanted to make Computing a big thing in the school I was teaching at. That year, we entered some of our pupils in a national coding competition and I was…